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Makhanya prepares for world champs with Durban victory

Makhanya

Mapaseka Makhanya’s winning drought came to an end on Sunday when she broke the tape at the Totalsports Women’s Race in Durban, writes Reggie Hufkie.

Clocking 34min 30sec to outwit race favourite Lebogang Phalula, Makhanya looks all set for the upcoming World Championships in London.

Makhanya, Lebogang Phalula and Loveness Madziva set a manageable pace for the sea of women in pink in the first three kilometres, after which the Nike ambassador took the lead and never looked back.

Running alone for more than 6km in windy conditions alongside Durban’s coastline, Makhanya had only one thing in mind: a debut victory.

‘I’m excited to win today, because when I left home I said this race is for me to lose because I have prepared. This was like a time trial for me and even though I didn’t run as fast as I expected to, I can take a win,’ mentioned the ecstatic debutant.

‘When you’re in front and running alone for so long with no support, it gets difficult and it starts playing games in your head that you’re winning, so I might as well just go for the victory,’ added the Central Gauteng athlete, who has been included in Athletics South Africa’s preliminary team to the IAAF World Championships in London next month.

‘I’m very happy with my inclusion, because I was in the team in 2015, but I had to withdraw because of injury, and then I also I missed the Olympics, so I’m excited that I’m going.

‘At the beginning of the year I already had faith that I will be going to the World Championships and I’ve been preparing for a marathon throughout the season, because in my heart I knew it was coming,’ added the former South African Sport Women of the Year winner. That’s why she needed this Totalsports Women’s Race victory before London.

Welcomed on stage by 7000 roaring women, Makhanya collected the R10,000 winner’s check, after the event organisers increased the overall prize purse to R123,600 for the three women’s races.

More women will take to the streets on 9 August in Cape Town and Johannesburg to finish the three races and help create more awareness about cancer.

Picture of the victorious Makhanya courtesy of Tobias Ginsberg


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